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Summary

Versa SD WAN & SASE: Review, Pros, Cons and Marketplace Research Data

Analyst: Abigail Sturt   Contact: asturt@netify.co.uk

If you have questions about Versa and how their capability is aligned to your needs, email the Netify research team. UK: uk@netify.co.uk North America: northamerica@netify.com

(Please use the UK email for ROW - Rest of the World - questions or enquiries)

Categories: 

  • SD WAN
  • SASE  

Sub-categories:

  • SASE Vendor 
  • SD WAN Vendor 
  • Managed SD WAN 
  • Managed SASE 

Pros:

  • Comprehensive solution reducing complexity by consolidating WAN and SASE on one platform. 
  • Versa SD WAN offers multi-cloud capabilities including cloud infrastructure vendors AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and more (See How Does Versa Access Cloud Vendors?).
  • Popular with SMEs (small-medium enterprises) due to their simplified Versa Titan SD WAN solution, which can be self-managed (DIY). Customers can also choose Versa Classic SD WAN, which is more granular and therefore popular with larger global enterprises.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Compliant - good for retail and financial businesses looking for added security around cardholder data.

Cons:

  • Due to such a wide ranging solution, knowledge in specific areas may be diluted. 

Netify review of Versa Networks:

The Versa Networks offering is a comprehensive solution, combining SD WAN and SASE into one platform. The solution is scalable, with Versa Titan suited for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) requiring high level security features on a simple platform that can be DIY managed; and Versa Classic, which is more granular and suited to global corporations. The solution is typically used for between 1 and 500 sites, but can be scaled to over 1000 sites, with no performance issues. Versa Networks are an all-round company, and offer solutions that are flexible enough to cater for a wide range of business sizes and are ideal for SMEs. 

Contents:

  • About Versa SD WAN Solutions
  • What is the Versa SD WAN solution?
    • Configuration-Based Key Features
    • Security-Based Key Features
    • Performance-Based Key Features
  • What is the Versa SASE Security Solution?
  • How does Versa access Cloud vendors?
  • Does Versa offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?
  • How does Versa support remote users?
  • Which connectivity underlay services are supported?
  • Do Versa manage and support SD WAN underlay?
  • What is the Versa managed services solution?
  • What reporting and management is available via the Versa portal?
  • Does Versa offer DIY and Co-managed SD WAN?
  • What is the Versa SLA?

About Versa Networks:

Versa Networks is an SD WAN and SASE vendor that was founded in 2012. They are headquartered in San Jose, CA, North America. Versa’s solution is deployed across over 1000 enterprise customers with 150,000 software licenses sold globally. They received venture capital from Sequoia Capital and Mayfield. 

What is the Versa SD WAN solution?

Versa offer their clients integrated SD WAN and SASE security services on a cloud-native platform, with options for managed and DIY services. The solution comes in two forms: Versa Classic, a feature rich solution offered via managed service providers (MSPs) popular with large global enterprises; and Versa Titan, a simplified and compacted version which is easier to self-manage (DIY) and is more popular with SMEs. Versa’s SD WAN solution aims to provide middle mile services across global networks.

Their comprehensive solutions are designed to enable migration and support of multi-cloud connectivity, allowing branch offices to connect to multiple public and private clouds such as AWS and Azure, as well as SaaS services such as Salesforce, Office 365, RingCentral and many more.

Versa also offers typical SD WAN carrier-grade features such as: IP address management, denial of service (DOS), intrusion protection system (IPS), intrusion detection system (IDS), and antivirus and malware software. Further features include: 

Configuration-Based Key Features:

  • Zero-Touch Configuration: removes the need for an IT team. Good for companies with remote locations. 
  • Split Tunnel: the SD WAN solution features split tunnelling. Traffic can be diverted via a VPN through a direct branch-to-branch overlay to reach the corporate office, whilst at the same time other traffic is sent directly to the internet or cloud. 
  • Multipath Traffic Steering: steers traffic in cloud applications in the cloud exchange that sit  between local - access and hub-sites. 
  • Versa Director: Supports virtualisation using VMware, and integrates into AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and Dell. 
  • Optional Wi-Fi and long term evolution (LTE): hardware offering includes optional Wi-Fi and LTE, which many other vendors do not support. This helps to prevent disruption of network connections and application access. 
  • Cloud-Management: good for DIY managed solutions, Versa Titan can be managed via a desktop or the Titan Mobile App. 

Security-Based Key Features:

  • Network Address Translation (NAT): translates all private IP addresses within the local branch or data centre into a single public IP address. Offers security when communicating via the internet. 
  • Next Generation Firewalling: approves or denies traffic based on state, port and protocol and blocks threats such as advanced malware and application-layer attacks. Can also filter traffic based on administrator-defined rules. 
  • Stateful Firewall: closely monitors traffic streams and can integrate encryption or tunnels and identify TCP connection stages, packet state and other key status updates. 
  • SASE: See What is the Versa SASE Security Solution? 

Performance-Based Key Features:

  • Versa SLA Monitoring: allows clients to apply contextualised user experience criteria, which allows traffic to be dynamically steered across paths. This ensures high performance and reliability for all business applications and workloads.  
  • Direct Cloud Access (DCA): optimises access to popular cloud sites such as AWS and Azure. 
  • DIY Management: Versa’s Titan network operations centre (NOC) is available to clients at all times and provides management help via live chat or telephone. 

What is the Versa SASE security solution?

Versa’s solution is delivered on-premises, via the cloud or a blend of both. The Versa SASE solution is comprised of: Appliances, Endpoints, Cloud gateways, Management and Control. The control and management of the Versa SASE solution is deployed using Versa Director, Versa Analytics, Versa Titan and Versa Concerto. Remote users are able to access network features via the Versa Secure Access Client, whereas users on premises access cloud native cloud service gateway appliances. Versa Cloud Gateways run Versa Operating System multi-tenant software. 

How does Versa access cloud vendors?

Versa’s offering accesses Cloud Vendors through globally distributed Versa Cloud Gateways allowing cloud access from anywhere worldwide. Versa also benefits from strong partnerships with Microsoft Azure (Branch IPsec Connectivity partner), Dell Technologies, AWS and Google Cloud. 

Does Versa offer WAN acceleration and optimisation?

Versa’s offering provides WAN acceleration and optimisation via the following: 

WAN Optimisation: 

  • IDS/IPS: Improved network security through the use of Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems to identify threats in network traffic flow by analysing packets.  
  • Routing: Identification of “best fit” traffic steering through automated solution to optimise throughput and minimise latency. 
  • LTE Backhaul: allows traffic to be diverted over 5G in the event of a backhaul - helps to prevent blackouts and brownouts. 
  • Unified Threat Management: multiple security features in one software bundle, designed to improve the efficiency of security features. 
  • Sub-second packet steering: improves packet processing speeds. 
  • Packet Loss Reduction Through Forward Error Correction (FEC): reduces errors in data transmission. 
  • Packet Replication
  • Poor Performing Link Avoidance

Application Acceleration: 

  • Multi-Cloud Services: uses Cloud Smart SD WAN to ensure a secure and uninterrupted connection to multiple cloud services.  
  • Versa Link Score Path Selection: used for all traffic flows, uses an MOS-style engine to provide a composite score through active/passive monitoring.
  • Application Intent: SaaS services and intelligent multi-cloud routing mapped to user experience. 

How does Versa support remote users?

Remote users are supported by the Versa Secure Access solution. Mobile and remote users are able to access Versa cloud gateways via the Versa Secure Access Client which allows them to connect to enterprise applications via the public and private cloud. 

Which connectivity underlay services are supported?

Versa supports the following underlay services: Internet, MPLS, and LTE. 

Do Versa manage and support SD WAN underlay?

Versa does not directly manage or support underlays as their offering focuses on the overlay. If management and support of an SD WAN underlay is required to consolidate the overlay and underlay then a partner will be required. The Versa solution is only available via channel partners. 

What is the Versa managed services solution?

The Versa managed service solution consists of the appliance and virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) which are all procured through a partner channel. The Versa managed service solution applies multi-cloud application performance at a reduced cost via the implementation of CapEx or OpEx. 

What reporting and management is available via the Versa portal?

Versa Networks management portal, Versa Director, is a single plane management platform. This management platform provides analytical data from export reports, network security, application usage and logs as events that are able to be retrieved, filtered and analysed to resolve network issues more efficiently and reduce downtime. 

Does Versa offer DIY and co-managed SD WAN?

Versa offers both DIY and Fully Managed SD WAN via managed service provider partners.

What is the Versa SLA?

Path performance is monitored by branch devices in order to ensure that the SLA is being upheld. 

Focus

Proposition Focus

20%
30%
20%
30%
Managed services
SASE security
Portal
SD WAN

Cloud Focus

10%
35%
27.5%
27.5%
AWS
Azure
Google
Dell

Other Focus

35%
35%
30%
Remote users
Simplicity
Complex requirements

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